In 1992, the UNEP Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro set down the mission statement for sustainable development as a common objective of the international community.
The German Chemical Distribution Association (Verband Chemiehandel e.V.- VCH) contributes to this development with the Responsible Care programme. For companies, this means constantly reviewing the impact of their economic activity on society and future generations and taking the findings into account in their decisions.
With the “Guidelines of the Chemical Trade on the Safe Handling of Chemicals, their Marketing and Public Information” from back in 1995, the members of the German Chemical Distribution Association are committed to their responsibility and set detailed objectives for the areas of product responsibility, plant safety and hazard prevention, occupational health and safety, environmental protection, transport safety, dialogue and the conservation of natural resources.
On the basis of these guidelines and the Responsible Care/Responsible Distribution programme adopted by the International Council of Chemical Trade Associations (ICCTA) in June 1996, German chemical trade companies actively participate in the global “Responsible Care” initiative, which was created by the chemical industry. They do this in cooperation with the German chemical industry on the basis of the partnership agreement renewed and confirmed in 2007 between the German Chemical Industry Association (Verband der Chemischen Industrie - VCI) and the VCH, as well as the partnership agreement concluded with CEFIC (Conseil Européen de l’Industrie Chimique).
The participating companies commit to continuously improve their performance concerning safety, health and environmental protection – regardless of legal requirements. They set themselves ambitious goals, control the improvement process and make it visible both internally and externally. Employees are also trained to contribute to the implementation of the necessary measures through their own initiatives.
By participating in the “Responsible Care” initiative, the chemical trade contributes to the careful use of resources and to the sustainable development of society.